Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Latest USDA weather update for Europe

Mild, dry weather continued to promote earlier-than-normal winter crop development, though late-week showers boosted moisture supplies in key northern growing areas.

Winter crops over northern and eastern Europe broke dormancy two to four weeks ahead of average, and were now advancing through the vegetative stage of development in mostly good condition.

Winter dryness had been a concern in France and parts of Germany, though early-March rain coupled with this week’s late-arriving scattered showers (2-20 mm) eased lingering dryness concerns and improved soil moisture supplies for spring development.

Sunny, mild conditions (1-3°C above normal) also promoted winter crop development in Poland and the northern Balkans before light to moderate showers (2-15 mm) returned at the end of the period.

Meanwhile, a pair of slow-moving storms triggered widespread showers across southern Europe.

One storm produced 5 to 50 mm of rain (locally more) in southern Spain and southwestern France, while the other brought moderate to heavy showers (10-60 mm) to the southern Danube River Valley.

In the former, the moisture was beneficial for vegetative to heading winter grains in Spain, though northern parts of the country (Castilla y León) missed out and are in need of moisture.

In the lower Danube River Valley, the rain maintained adequate to abundant moisture supplies for wheat and rapeseed development.